Long-Term Care Insurance Benefits
A real life example of Long-Term Care Insurance and how it can help you.
Several years ago, while in her late 80s, my extremely independent and proud immigrant mother suddenly decided she was open to discuss her finances. That day, she led me to her desk which had stacks of unopened envelopes from her various investments. While she always seemed organized and fairly savvy with her finances, I had convinced her it was time to allow me to review and organize all her documents. After a full week, I collected her essential papers into a large binder which included everything from bank account and life insurance info to investments and paid mortgages to property taxes, home improvements/permits, immigration documentation, marriage certificates and passports.
Once I organized the binder to contain all these essential documents along with her will, Power of Attorneys for Health & Property and her living trust, we reviewed her workbook, and together, called each financial institution to verify the account information and the beneficiaries. We took the time to visit her bank to review her accounts. With that completed, I created a spreadsheet that listed her financial records for her review. I can tell you that she had the biggest smile when this was all complete — she truly appreciated having everything in one place.
About a year and a half later, I received a call from my mother’s neighbor. My mother had fallen in her home, and she was in the local emergency room. That became the first of three ER admissions in the next five months. I was now in crisis mode.
For many years, I tried to have a conversation about downsizing her home, but she always refused. It was the home she had lived in and loved for 40 years, and it was where she wanted to pass away. Making the situation more complicated, she lived an hour away from me, her geographically closest child, and she was reclusive and non-compliant when taking her medications. As her Power of Attorney and elected caregiver, I, ultimately, had to decide. How can I save her from herself?
Fortunately, I had all her documents in order, and they were within reach. I had her legal approval to represent her best interest in the hospital and handle her care and finances. After her third hospital admission, I could tell the doctors were extremely frustrated, but the reality was she dealing with dementia. As a result, it was time to make a family decision. I insisted the doctors transfer her to a skilled care facility for physical therapy and, she was walking within three weeks. In the interim, I had the opportunity to research a local assisted living community near my home.
It was a difficult decision for my brother and me. My mother’s wish was to stay in her home and she missed it but, she grew to enjoy her new home, her fellow community residents and the excellent staff over the course of nearly four years at the cost of $240,000. My parents scrimped and saved their entire life. After my father’s death, she invested wisely to afford to live in a lovely senior community and still leave a legacy to her family. My mother always told us that she was “grateful and fortunate to meet her husband and raise a family in the United States.” “When I go, I go …I had a good life,” she’d tell us.
She lived just shy of her 93rd birthday.
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